Introducing our February Fish of the Month, the Longhorn Sculpin, Myoxocephalus octodecemspinosus

Survey Regions: They are found from Virginia to Newfoundland, in REEF's Northeast US and Canada (NE) region. Click here to see a distribution report for this species.

Size: They can grow to about 18 inches (46 cm) in length but are generally 10-14 inches.

Identifying Features: Longhorn Sculpins have a large head and a slender, elongated body. Their body coloration can vary from dark olive to pale green, yellow, or brown. They have three to four wide dark bars running down their sides. They also have large eyes, fan­like pectoral fins, two separate dorsal fins and a small tail fin. Many of their fins are covered in dark bands or stripes. Their skull is covered with numerous sharp spines, the longest of which starts at their cheek and goes as far back as the edge of their gill cover.

Fun Facts: Longhorn Sculpins are found in harbors and shallow coastal waters during the warmer months, and migrate to deeper waters during winter. They spawn from November to February, and lay green, red, or brown eggs are laid on finger sponges. They may live up to ten years or more!

Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for our next Fish of the Month.

Photo by Andrew Martinez.